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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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potential victim of the advantage of surrendering the means of his own
defence, or at the same time of easing the task of his destruction in the
near future. During 1944, and after, Russian propaganda did not hesitate
to lavishly extend the most reactionary of promises to the c liberated'
Poland-to-be. It promised everything. They swore that Poland would
be democratic, with a parliamentary regime, parliamentary control of
the Army and, in short, have all those institutions about which the
average Russian citizen knew so little and then only in the distorted form
prevailing in his country.
The Allied correspondents in Moscow herded together in the Intourist
Hotel were now flooded with material on the future of Poland and cabled
the amazing news that the Kremlin " was firmly wedded to the policy of
liberation and was likely to seek all means whereby the Polish people can
be given speedy opportunity to take over the running of their own affairs/'
and that Moscow promised and anticipated for the future Poland even
" the establishment of a concordat with the Vatican." Meanwhile
Moscow was waging a most bitter fight in every field of her propaganda
against the Holy See, the citadel of the Western world, which Russia was
to attack as being the protector of the Catholic countries, and later as the
body which might influence the peace terms to be imposed on Germany,
by appealing for a Christian peace. And, even while Moscow was
violently fighting the Vatican, Stalin received, in favoured audience, the
Catholic priest, Father Orlenianski, and reiterated his promises of full
religious freedom for Poland, and not only religious. The Times' special
correspondent repeated :*
"A year has passed since Marshal Stalin, in a statement to The Times,
expressed hopes that relations between the Soviet Union and a reconstituted
Poland would be based on the principle of mutual respect. The Russians
know the Poles too well to lose sight of the fact that, whatever form of
Government is chosen by liberated Poles, the religious factor is likely to
play an important part in a land which is among the leading Christian
countries of Europe, and Marshal Stalin, as events at home have shown3
does not under-estimate the value of true faith as a buttress of the spirit
of national resistance to German imperialism. Some representatives of the
Polish Army in Russia have suggested that, when the Red Army enters
Poland, it will often find the parish priest the most suitable local repre-
sentative to make contact with."
The Red Army entering Eastern Poland would not be able to c find the
parish priest/ for from all those four thousand Catholic priests who
were deported to Russia, only the few who had disguised themselves
as civilians had been liberated. Only one priest who went to Russia as
such was ever able to return from that country, and that one was Father
There was, however, a certain amount of restraint apparent in the
Soviet propaganda, which seemed to become stiff and unconvincing as
sooa as its officials reached a certain marked limit, beyond which they
* The Times, May 27th, 1944.